MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 4,552 this week

Punishment Park (1971)

 -  Drama | Thriller  -  1980 (West Germany)
7.9
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.9/10 from 3,939 users  
Reviews: 47 user | 59 critic

"Punishment Park" is a pseudo-documentary purporting to be a film crews's news coverage of the team of soldiers escorting a group of hippies, draft dodgers, and anti-establishment types ... See full summary »

Director:

Writer:

0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

with Prime Instant Video + 1 more

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 33 titles
created 23 Aug 2011
 
a list of 45 titles
created 04 Nov 2012
 
a list of 33 titles
created 10 months ago
 
a list of 47 titles
created 9 months ago
 
a list of 30 titles
created 7 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Punishment Park" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Punishment Park (1971)

Punishment Park (1971) on IMDb 7.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Punishment Park.

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Battle of Culloden (TV Movie 1964)
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A reconstruction of the Battle of Culloden, the last battle to take place on British soil, as if modern TV cameras were present.

Director: Peter Watkins
Stars: Tony Cosgrove, Olivier Espitalier-Noel, Don Fairservice
Evening Land (1977)
Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Made with a cast of 192 non-professional actors, Evening Land continues to explore the form of fictional documentary intervening polemically into a period of intense debates about the media... See full summary »

Director: Peter Watkins
Stars: Bent Andersen, Kai Schøning Andersen, Mogens Andersen
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

William Douglas Street is bored with his life. Working for his father is getting to him, his wife wants more money, and he's had enough. His solution is to re-invent himself. He becomes a ... See full summary »

Director: Wendell B. Harris Jr.
Stars: Wendell B. Harris Jr., Timothy Alvaro, Dave Barber
Edvard Munch (TV Movie 1974)
Biography | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Following a rough chronology from 1884 to 1894, when Norwegian artist Edvard Munch began expressionism and established himself as northern Europe's most maligned and controversial artist, ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Watkins
Stars: Geir Westby, Gro Fraas, Kerstii Allum
Gladiatorerna (1969)
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Some time in the future, East and West have stopped maintaining standing armies and nuclear weapons. Instead, to settle their differences they pit different teams of crack combat specialists against each other.

Director: Peter Watkins
Stars: Arthur Pentelow, Frederick Danner, Hans Bendrik
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

An abused autistic boy is the sole witness to the kidnapping of a teenage heiress.

Director: Guerdon Trueblood
Stars: Tiffany Bolling, Ben Piazza, Susan Sennett
The War Game (1965)
Drama | Sci-Fi | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The War Game is a fictional, worst-case-scenario docu-drama about nuclear war and its aftermath in and around a typical English city. Although it won an Oscar for Best Documentary, it is ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Watkins
Stars: Michael Aspel, Peter Graham, Kathy Staff
Cold Turkey (1971)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Hoping for positive publicity, a tobacco company offers $25 million to any American town that quits smoking for 30 days. Amidst a media frenzy, Eagle Rock, Iowa accepts the challenge while the company's PR man tries to sabotage the effort.

Director: Norman Lear
Stars: Dick Van Dyke, Pippa Scott, Tom Poston
Certificate: GP Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Harold Pelham encounters a duplicate of himself in the aftermath of a car crash. After that moment his life is upset.

Director: Basil Dearden
Stars: Roger Moore, Hildegard Neil, Alastair Mackenzie
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Director: Peter Watkins
Stars: Eliane Annie Adalto, Pierre Barbieux, Bernard Bombeau
Drama | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A timid bank teller anticipates a bank robbery and steals the money himself before the crook arrives. When the sadistic crook realizes he's been fooled, he tracks down the teller and engages him in a cat-and-mouse chase for the cash.

Director: Daryl Duke
Stars: Elliott Gould, Christopher Plummer, Susannah York
Drama | Sci-Fi | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

When the USA and Russia test atomic bombs at the same time, it knocks the Earth out its orbit and sends it spiraling toward the Sun.

Director: Val Guest
Stars: Edward Judd, Janet Munro, Leo McKern
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Patrick Boland ...
First Tribunal Defendant
Kent Foreman ...
Defendant in the tribunal
...
Jay Kaufman, Tribunal Defendant
Luke Johnson ...
Defendant in the tribunal
Katherine Quittner ...
Nancy Smith
...
James Arthur Kohler, Tribunal Defendant
Stan Armsted ...
Charles Robbins
Mary Ellen Kleinhall ...
Allison Mitchner
Mark Keats ...
William C. Hoeger, Tribunal Chairman
Gladys Golden ...
Mary Jurgens, Tribunal Member
Sanford Golden ...
Sen. Harris
George Gregory ...
Mr. Keagan
Norman Sinclair ...
Alfred J. Sully - Tribunal Member
Sigmund Rich ...
Prof. Hazlett
Paul Rosenstein ...
Paul Reynolds - Tribunal Member
Edit

Storyline

"Punishment Park" is a pseudo-documentary purporting to be a film crews's news coverage of the team of soldiers escorting a group of hippies, draft dodgers, and anti-establishment types across the desert in a type of capture the flag game. The soldiers vow not to interfere with the rebels' progress and merely shepherd them along to their destination. At that point, having obtained their goal, they will be released. The film crew's coverage is meant to insure that the military's intentions are honorable. As the representatives of the 60's counter-culture get nearer to passing this arbitrary test, the soldiers become increasingly hostile, attempting to force the hippies out of their pacifist behavior. A lot of this film appears improvised and in several scenes real tempers seem to flare as some of the "acting" got overaggressive. This is a interesting exercise in situational ethics. The cinéma vérité style, hand-held camera, and ambiguous demands of the director - would the actors be ... Written by Dick Rockwell <dr1orok@atlas.moa.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1980 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Büntető park  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Whole movie was filmed using Eclair 16 mm camera. Theather cut and the version for released DVD is been blown up to 35 mm film. See more »

Goofs

In her tribunal closing statement, Alison Mitchner makes reference to the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States, and uses the phrase "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness". This phrase is in the second sentence of the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution. See more »

Quotes

Defendant Lee Robert Brown: You don't wanna hear my message. You spent fifty years evolving a propaganda system that'll take the truth and change it into what you wanna hear. You don't wanna hear shit that's gonna mean you might have to give up something. You don't want it. All you wanna do is sit on your fat, dividend-drawing ass and draw dividends.
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits at all. The title doesn't appear until halfway through the closing credits. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Extremely relevant, audacious and very impressive pseudo-documentary
17 October 2005 | by (Amsterdam, Netherlands) – See all my reviews

My curiosity and patience to finally see this controversial film, which now has been released on DVD for the first time in the UK, has been more than rewarded. Peter Watkins has excelled himself in his audacity and technical skills. This pseudo-documentary is certainly ahead of its time and still frighteningly relevant and up to date.

The film is inspired by the upheaval of the late sixties in the US, when the government has increased its legitimized use of violence and oppression, while the anti-war movement reacts increasingly violent and radical. In order to deal with both this, the overpopulation of prisons and to provide special training to riot police units, the government has introduced the so-called punishment parks. Convicted 'criminals', mostly activists, are given the 'choice' to either be locked up in prison for years and years, or spend three days in one of these parks, where they either gain their freedom their death or an even longer prison sentence. The situation in the parks is beyond their worst expectations, however. It reminded me of a sort of realistic version of Battle Royale (2000).

The film's structure is extremely effective and recalls parallels with Cannibal Holocaust, which is made almost 10 years later. Both movies are constructed and filmed in such a way that the viewer is challenged in thinking and feeling he is actually watching a real documentary and therefore shocked, even though aware of the fact that: this is a film. Both confront us with the inherently violent nature of mankind, but where Cannibal Holocaust is devoid of any deeper meaning (above all, it is an exploitation movie in every sense of the word) and does not raise any critical questions about the state of the world, Punishment Park does just that.

I have been profoundly impressed with Punishment Park and find it hard to believe how such a powerful and important film could have been rejected and marginalized for so long. Maybe that says enough about the truth of its content, about the way power structures in this world function. I do not agree with the critique that Watkins polarizes and stereotypes, because the movie depicts activists and the keepers of the legitimized power structures who are in reality as polarized as they are here. If they weren't, there would not be any conflict and therefore no change in our societies. In reality, confrontations between these two groups often take stereotypical forms, whether you place them between activists and establishment in Latin America, Russia or New York City. If these groups would not be polarized to these extremes, the activists would be part of the silent majorities that tacitly complain but at the same time reside in the injustices of the world.

As Peter Watkins tells us in the introduction on the DVD, the actors in Punishment Park are for the most part amateurs. Most kids were real activists from LA, most policemen had been part of the national forces and even some of the members of the tribunals are part of the social and political establishment of the time. Not introducing both groups previous to the shooting of the scenes taking place in the improvised court room, adds to spontaneous and improvised feel. Parallels are drawn with issues of the time, such as the repression of Black Panther members (one of the black prisoners is said to resemble the convicted charismatic BPleader Bobby Seale) and the trial of the Chicago seven.

I admire Watkins' obvious and sincere engagement with injustice and his concern with human rights and the increasingly repressive measures taken by governments (nowadays in the name of the War in Terror) to silence those that do not agree and refuse to be brainwashed. Punishment Park remains to be an extremely important movie that should be shown in schools and seen by everybody who shares these concerns. Maybe its marginalization can finally be made up for.


38 of 45 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Unrealistic crevy
Is this film helpful or harmful? Mean_Joe_Weeks
8.1 but not on list IdontwatchtheOscars
NTSC DVD Available in the US DiabolikBlake
Death Camp Opera: it happens! jwer79
films like this make me laugh chaosbaron
Discuss Punishment Park (1971) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?